Well, I guess should tell you all that I am alive, well, and currently located in Swansea, Wales according to Facebook. And this is all true. Traveling was crazy because all of the great little plans I made completely backfired. My flight from Detroit to Chicago was delayed so much that I ended up flying to London out of Detroit. My international SIM card caused my phone to be completely locked because Verizon is stubborn and doesn’t internationally unlock your phone until the fourth call. But I found Sam and we enjoyed a nice three hour train ride to Swansea together eventually Saturday afternoon. When we finally found where we were living, we ordered Chinese take out and then passed out for twelve hours, with my three jackets I wore to the airport as blankets.

Class started on Monday. Right now I’m taking a two week course on British culture and politics since WWII. We get to focus on movies and music along with politics, so it’s been pretty interesting so far. The professor is wonderful (mainly because he loves making Doctor Who jokes) and the class has great information as well as field trips! On Monday afternoon, we went to the Gower peninsula south of Swansea and it was beautiful.
It was also quite windy. And full of sheep!
The class also includes seminar classes, the British version of discussion. Sam and I are in different seminar groups, so Tuesday while she was in class I decided to take a walk to find the Catholic church, which I knew to be about half a mile from campus. There was a park in between me and the church. Unfortunately for my boots,  I decided to walk through the park and ended up in a marsh area that should have been a path…
But it was a beautiful park, so I didn’t care!
There were also botanical gardens and stuff is still alive and flowering here! Around this time, I had someone ask me if my accent was Australian, which was amusing.
I found the Catholic church, but it was locked, so I couldn’t go inside. There was a beautiful shrine to Mary though.
On the way back, I walked through the other side of the park along a duck and swan pond. The swans here are huge! Unfortunately, I was running late so I couldn’t get a very wonderful picture.
Thursday, I decided to acquaint myself with the library which is quite large and also partially underground, like Illinois’s undergraduate library. While wandering around, I found every sophomore chemical engineer’s favorite books:
Yesterday, we had a snow day with less than two inches of snow. Obviously, a huge deal. I really wanted to go explore Mumbles, a small beautiful village south of the university, after hearing so much about it from a cousin who lived here for a short time, but the buses were barely running. So instead we found a cheap, delicious, true British dinner. I tried wine legally while all my fellow classmates at Illinois were still finishing their Friday classes. While finding a place to eat, we also stumbled upon the ruins of Swansea Castle which is literally in the middle of city, surrounded by brand new buildings. Welcome to Europe?
My class today was supposed to take us on a field trip to a history museum and a coal museum, but it’s been castled because the roads outside Swansea are still less than ideal. Slightly ridiculous, but now I have the perfect excuse to visit Swansea’s Market, one of the best open air markets in Britain. So I’m off to go explore. I hope everyone had a wonderful week back at school! And I hope everyone enjoys the weekend together, happy to be reunited with each other. I miss my friends and family and I’m really happy to share my adventures with you all.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: